Leapin’ Lizards: This Dinosaur-Looking Reptile Lives in Northern Colorado
Northern Colorado is home to hundreds of different species of wildlife. From the tiniest amphibians, such as northern leopard frogs to massive mammals, like moose and elk, all kinds of animals live in the upper region of the Centennial State.
Certain types of wildlife are more frequently seen than others. And for some animals, you have to look very hard; even then, it's still easy to miss them.
Horned lizards are one of the many species of reptiles found in northern Colorado but it's pretty rare to come across these cold-blooded critters unless you're really searching.
According to CPW, three types of horned lizards live in Colorado: round-tailed horned lizards, Texas horned lizards, and greater short-horned lizards. The latter of the three would most commonly be found in the shortgrass prairies and foothills of northern Colorado.
These spiny reptiles are sometimes referred to as horny toads because of their body shape, and their resemblance to the actual amphibian. Their bumpy, scaly skin helps horned lizards to defend themselves and blend in with their surroundings. While they look like little monsters, horned lizards are totally harmless to humans. These lizards predominantly feed on ants and beetles, as well as other small insects, and sometimes even snails. On the flip side, they are a tasty snack for coyotes and birds of prey.
Earlier in the summer, the City of Fort Collins shared a few photos of some horned lizards that were located at Soapstone Prairie Natural Area. They are also known to reside at Cathy Fromme Prairie, which provides an ideal shortgrass prairie habitat for these prehistoric-looking animals. Other Front Range locals have shared photos they've snapped of these spiny reptiles around the area, which are archived here.
A resident reported finding a horned lizard in Colorado Springs recently too.